This wonderful news comes to us from England.
Daphne Neville is a sprightly 82 year old and is an animal lover both by nature and by deeds. She and her pet otters may be adorable, however, their doting companionship has also helped to protect this very special species.
Daphne has spent the last 40 years raising rescued otters and all for the aim to raise awareness about the special creatures.
Rudi happens to be her 10th pet otter and he even accompanies Daphne to shops- people do not mind because the otter always looks happy and cozy. Rudi is not 14 years old and this Asian small-clawed otter has been living with Daphne ever since his mother abandoned him as a baby.
Daphne says, “ With Rudi, I’ve had him since he was three weeks old. He thinks I’m his mom. I’m a part of him and he’s a part of me. I’ve shown people that you can have an incredible bond with these creatures.”
She continues, “ I wouldn’t want to be a risk to anyone. All my otters have immaculately behaved. I wouldn’t dream of taking them out otherwise. We do shows all over the place. People come from miles away- especially from Australia and New Zealand because they don’t have otters there.”
Daphne is an actress by trade and she adopted her first otter back in 1980 after a friend remarked on how her 18th century converted water mill offered the perfect conditions for otter care.
Daphne has also campaigned tirelessly along with big names like the legendary Sir David Attenborough in a bid to urge water companies to clean up the rivers of the country. These rivers had become so polluted with the PCB chemical that the wild otter was on the brink of extinction. Daphne’s actions prompted Michael Meacher, the environmental minister under Tony Blair to announce plans to phase out the harmful PCB.
Daphne says that she, her husband and three children did not know anything about otters. “We were just a normal family. But then we wanted to raise awareness about their future. We fought hard for their safety. Clean water is pivotal for the future of otters and all living creatures. Since 1984 the water of the rivers has improved noticeably.”
Image source: Daphne Neville